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Dan Rather may have done his country an invaluable service. He got Saddam Hussein to admit that he has no intention of destroying the illegal missiles U.N. inspectors say he must destroy.

If Hussein won't destroy the missiles, why does anybody believe he will eventually reveal and then destroy the illegal chemical or biological warheads he has sitting on top of those missiles?

This latest news has brought around one of the president's most intransigent opponents on the world state — No, not France or Russia or Germany or China. Instead, the Rather interview has appeared to have convinced The New York Times! Imagine that!

The paper's lead editorial says Hussein has let the cat out of the bag, that he's not going to destroy any weapons the inspectors find and that "what's needed is not more time for the inspectors, but an entirely different attitude from Iraq".

Enough said. It appears the Times may grumble about Bush being a cowboy and a unilateralist, but even the "great gray lady" has decided more wheedling on inspections is just too much and entirely beside the point.

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